When you plan a vacation what do you plan in it? Do you plan just your train bookings and your stay? Do you plan just your hotels and the sight-seeing? How much do you research about the place you are going to? Do you know why Galta is named Galta. How many of you actually were aware of this place in Rajasthan? Pay a visit to this uncommon, less travelled tourist destination that awaits you with its entire holistic ambiance.

Location of Galta

Galta, popularly known as Galtaji is a pilgrimage site which is located at a distance of 10 kilometres from Jaipur main town. This is situated in the town of Khania Balaji. It is said that in ancient times there was a saint named Galav who stayed at this site and through meditation he had attained eternal salvation.

History of Galta Ji

How did a less travelled pilgrimage site become a popular tourist destination? There is a long interesting story about how it happened. Saint Galav had taken birth in the Satya Yug about 60,000 years ago and according to myth it is his powers that brought the river Ganga to Galta through the Gau-mukh (cow’s mouth).  On the full moon day of the Hindi month of Karthik, the trio of Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar (Shiva) visit this holy place and this is why millions of devotees visit the place on that auspicious day for worship. Otherwise Galta is less visited during the year and it is still to get international recognition by tourists.

How to Reach Galta

Galta or Galta Ji shrine is situated just at a distance of 10 kilometres from the main city of Jaipur. You can hire a car and reach the place in less than an hour’s time. You can also take a local bus and that would be the most cost saving way of reaching Galta from Jaipur. If you are visiting Galta from any other place in Rajasthan then there are buses and local cabs for sight-seeing that are readily available at affordable costs.

Tourist Attractions at Galta

Galva Ashram

The famous Galva Ashram has been popularly recognised in the name of Galva Gaddi (Peetham) by founder who is Saint Payohari Swami Shri Krishnadas Ji Maharaj back in 1503 AD. He was named Payohari because he just survived on cow’s milk throughout his life and he consumed nothing else. This place is known to have spread the teaching of the Vaishnava religion and the teachings of Vaishnava Ramanujacharya. Out of his 12 disciples, two are very significant by the name of Shri Kilhaji and Shri Aggra ji.

There are several temples in Galta and there are holy kunds (water tanks) where the pilgrims take bath before offering worship. For the Hindu ascetics belonging to the Vaishnava Ramanandi sect, Galta is the perfect place to be. Located at just a short distance of 10 kilometres of state capital Jaipur, it attracts many tourists and devotees every year.

The temple built by Diwan Rao Kriparam who was a courtier of Jai Singh II, it is a temple of the 18th Century. The main temple of Galta Ji is built with pink sand stone. The temples feature typical architecture of painted walls, carved pillars and dome shaped roofs.

The temple of Ramgopal Ji is also known as the Monkey Temple because there are hundreds of monkeys living in the temple complex.

Another temple inside the complex is the temple of Balaji. There is another temple Diwan Kriparam which is built on the highest peak of the town of Galta which is dedicated to the Sun God Surya.

The water tanks or kunds are for the purpose of bathing for the devotees who come to worship at the temples. The most crowded time is Makar Sankranti when there are thousands of devotees visiting Galta. The water of these tanks is believed to be holy as it is the Ganga which is directly entering the shrine.

Significance of the Galta Ji Temple

Mughal Emperor Akbar had visited the ashram of Galta Ji to take blessings. This holds immense importance in the history of the shrine because he was the mightiest of all Mughal emperors. He was the first and the last emperor who was a staunch follower of Islam who had visited a Vaishnava temple to seek blessings. History also has in it that Emperor Akbar had donated 2592 bighas of land to the Acharya of the temple after his wishes were granted.

Here is a list of all the Acharyas of the Galta Ji shrine chronologically according to their Tenure:

  • Payohari Swami Shri Krishnadas Ji Maharaj
  • Swami Shri Kilhadevacharya Ji Maharaj
  • Shri Krishnadevacharya Ji Videhi
  • Shri Vishnudevacharya Ji
  • Shri Narayanadevacharya Ji
  • Shri Haridevacharya Ji
  • Shri Ramprapannamadhucharya Ji
  • Shri Hariyacharya Ji
  • Shri Shriacharya Ji
  • Shri Jankicharanacharya Ji
  • Shri Ramacharya Ji
  • Shri Sitaramacharya Ji
  • Shri Hariprasadacharya Ji
  • Shri Hariballavacharya Ji
  • Shri Harisharanacharya Ji
  • Shri Ramodaracharya Ji
  • Shri Sampatkumaracharya Ji
  • and Shri Avadeshacharya Ji who is the present priest of the shrine currently.

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